Aquarium Updates

It’s been a while since my last aquarium update so after some major maintenance here are some updated pics.

A few changes in the 16g but nothing major. The pennywort in the new(er) Spec just wouldn’t stay rooted so it’s now a floater in the big tank. The T5 bulb burned out. I dug a Finnex Stingray LED out of the basement and am using that instead. The tank is brighter and I like the colors, just not very happy with the look of the fixture and the original plastic hood. Another future project 🙄 With this particular tank I have the light on a timer which I’ve had to adjust due to both the longer days and the fact that there was a bit of an algae bloom. Still planning to add more neons when the weather is consistently warmer.

The new(er) Spec without the pennywort, I also played around a bit with the rocks and wood. Nice growth on the sword.

The original Spec, which is on my desk. Not easy to see in the pic but the dwarf sag on the left has gone crazy, lots and lots of runners! I’ll eventually remove the moss balls, trim some of the runners, and replant them on the right.

 

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Quick Aquarium Updates

The cruise had me away from the house for eight days. The kids take care of the dogs but I still make quite detailed plans and instructions for feeding, sleeping arrangements, medications, etc. The fish and aquariums are the opposite end of the spectrum.

I let the fish go unfed. My stock is pretty basic-no high end, special needs fish-so they can easily go two weeks without feeding. I put a timer on the 16g light but left the two Specs alone. After almost a week and a half with mainly ambient lighting and no ferts the plants looked surprisingly good!

The new(er) Spec seemed to do the best. I managed to keep a few stems of pennywort in the substrate and let the rest float, lots of dangly root growth there. I’m very happy with growth of both the crypt spiralis and crypt parva. Really just need to make the time to do some trimming in all the tanks.

A few days after I got home the AquaClear on the 16g just died. I took the filter completely apart and cleaned everything but couldn’t get it running. Of course this was after 9pm so my only option was WalMart where I got a Whisper Internal Power Filter. I like the looks of it and it’s surprisingly quiet-only negative I’ve found is output can’t be adjusted-but it leaves the tank way underfiltered. Because of the tank’s location I get a lot of reflection with pics, this shot was taken from the side:

Going to use this opportunity to upgrade to a larger AquaClear and order more green neons from Rachel when the weather is warmer.

New Tank Progress

At this point I suppose it isn’t really a new tank but since I have two Spec Vs I call it that to differentiate between them.

This is the tank I started in October. I’m not using the most plant-friendly substrate so growth is a bit slow but there has been progress. For a while I was having issues with the snails uprooting the crypt parva but that hasn’t happened recently; now for whatever reason I’m having trouble keeping the pennywort in the sand.

The schedule I’ve been following is a weekly water change, twice weekly doses of Flourish and Flourish Excel, and a weekly dose of Leaf Zone. I’ve been changing out the Poly Filter every other water change. Water quality hasn’t been a problem, it’s more of a preventative measure since I overstock. I also add a new Indian almond leaf maybe once a month.

Nov 03

Nov 10

Nov 13

Nov 20

Dec 02

Thoughts on this tank? I’m happy with the hardscape and finally starting to relax about the plant growth. Looking back at these pics I’m sure at this point that I want to add a background, I really don’t like seeing the cords hanging in the back. It’s a good livestock combination, if I did anything with that it would be to increase the number of both Amano shrimp and white clouds but not until spring when the weather is better for shipping.

New Order

Last week I talked about possibly doing another fish order…fast forward and that order arrived today! From Rachel at Invertebrates by Msjinkzd: green neons, white clouds, otos, and Amano shrimp.

Otos acclimating in shipping bag:

Otos in bucket before separating:

White clouds when bag first hung in tank:

White clouds 30 minutes later:

Amano shrimp, which like other bottom feeders are major poop machines:

This is the happiest I’ve been with the tanks in a very long time, not just because of the new additions but overall. I setup a spreadsheet for maintenance and calendar reminders which seems to help a lot instead of thinking I should do this or that occasionally. It’s nice to sit and look at the tanks, enjoy what I’m seeing without being stressed.

On that note here’s a quick phone camera shot I took, right side of the 16g. Gotta love photo bombing fish  😂